Theme of the Week: Out of Hibernation
Bible Verse: “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37
Scripture Reading: Luke 10:25-37
Do you love surprises? It depends on the context, doesn’t it? Sometimes surprises aren’t all that exciting. Waiting to see what’s under the gift paper? Sure! That’s a great surprise. Waiting for the boss to break the ice after she’s called you inter her office, not always a great feeling. . . even if the news is good or neutral.
The parable of the good Samaritan is full of surprises. And I think that by the end of the parable the audience wasn’t exactly looking forward to another surprise.
Perhaps you are familiar with the story. The short version is that a Jewish man is attacked and left for dead, two Israelite holy men (a priest and a Levite) pass by without offering help. Finally, a Samaritan (hated by Jews . . . and it went both ways) stopped and gave help.
All three turns would have been a nasty surprise for the listening Jewish audience. When the Priest and the Levite happen upon the injured man, they go out of their way to avoid him. The audience had to wrestle with the idea of God’s representatives passing by someone in obvious need. And when the Samaritan came along (someone for whom most of the audience probably wouldn’t have stopped) and not only aids in the moment, but also provides for ongoing care, it was certainly a shock.
And let’s not forget, this parable was an answer to a question. Who is my neighbor? Who am I supposed to love?
The point Jesus was making to the inquisitive young lawyer was that we need to look wider and deeper. That reflects God’s love most accurately. God looks wide and deep for ways to show His love for us and asks us to do the same for those around us.
Prayer: God, thank you for seeing me when I am in need. Thank you for stopping to help me when I cannot help myself. Help me to see those around me who are in need and to see how I can help them in their moment of need.
Reflection: Who around you needs you to show them the love of God?
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